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Change to shared revenue hits Hudson hardest; 911 wireless fund tapped

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New Richmond, 54017

New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

A change in the state shared revenue formula included in Gov. Jim Doyle's 2009-11 biennial state budget will hit Hudson harder than any other community in the region.

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Doyle is proposing a 1 percent reduction in state shared revenue, but that cut won't be shared equally.

According to Jon Dyck, of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the old shared revenue formula based revenue distribution primarily on the per capita property value of a community. Those communities with lower property value received more.

A smaller portion of the old formula distributed the money equally across all county, municipal and local governments in the state.

"The original intent of shared revenue was to help communities with lower property values," said Dyck.

Under the new formula the 1 percent cut is distributed strictly according to per capita property values.

"Those with higher property values are getting a bigger reduction," said Dyck. "It goes back to the original intent."

Under the new formula Hudson will see a 9.78 percent decrease in shared revenue or about $21,794.

North Hudson's shared revenue will be reduced by 4.5 percent.

However, Plum City in eastern Pierce County will only get a reduction of 0.3 percent or $447.

The eastern St. Croix County community of Woodville will lose $1,125 or 0.37 percent of its shared revenue.

Here is what some other communities could lose under the proposed plan:

* New Richmond: -1.84 percent, $9,580

* River Falls: - 0.57 percent, $12,495

* Somerset: -1.31 percent, $3,087

* Roberts: -.65 percent, $1,804

* Hammond: -0.77 percent, $1,850

* Baldwin: -1.38 percent, $4,025

* Ellsworth: -0.52 percent, $2,837

* Prescott: -1.48 percent, $5,020

* Spring Valley: -.53 percent, $1,005

* Pepin: -0.74 percent, $984

* Durand: -0.29 percent, $1,408

* Amery: -0.56 percent, $3,073

* Osceola: -0.85 percent, $3,037

* Menomonie: -0.41 percent, $13,908

Another change to the shared revenue program is how Doyle proposes to fund it.

In the coming budget Doyle proposes taking $25 million from the Wireless 911 fund and transferring it to the general fund.

The Wireless 911 fund was created to fund the implementation of 911 service for cell phones across the state.

In 2005, there was an 83 cent tax placed on each state cell phone bill. That amount was later reduced to 43 cents before it was entirely eliminated.

"Once we knew there would be enough money in the 911 fund to make the conversion, the fund was discontinued," said Rick Olin, an LFB spokesman.

Olin said that the conversion has been completed and that the $22 million currently in the fund is what was left over. The money is invested and earns about $20,000 a month.

Olin expects that by the time the money would be needed it would be up to $25 million.

Contact Brady Bautch at internet@rivertowns.net.

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